The Mishnah is a collection of rabbinic teachings that were compiled in the second century CE. It contains a number of tractates or sections. Each tractate covers a different topic, such as prayer, marriage, damages, and fasting. The Mishnah is arranged into six orders: Zeraim, Moed, Nashim, Nezikin, Kodashim, and Tohorot. The word “Shas” is an acronym for the Hebrew words Shishah Sidrei Mishnah – the “six orders of the Mishnah.” Take a look at each order and the number of Mishnayos they contain so that you can understand what this Mishnayos chart entails.
This is the first of the six orders of the Mishnah and covers agricultural laws. It has eleven chapters and six hundred and eighty-three Mishnayos. Zera’im also contains the earliest halakhic discussion of Zion, Jerusalem, and the Temple. In addition, it includes the first mention of rabbinic courts and their authority. The first chapter of Zeraim, Berakhot, discusses the laws of blessings and prayers. The second chapter, Pe’ah, discusses the laws of leaving the corners of one’s field unharvested for the poor. The third chapter, Demai, discusses the laws of tithes.
The fourth chapter, Kilayim, discusses the laws of forbidden combinations, such as planting two different types of seeds in the same field. The fifth chapter discusses the laws of the sabbatical year. The sixth chapter, Terumot, discusses the laws of tithing. The seventh chapter, Maasrot, discusses the laws of giving gifts to the Levites. The eighth chapter, Ma’aser Sheni, discusses the laws of the second tithe. The ninth chapter, Hallah, discusses the laws of hallah (a type of bread). The tenth chapter, Orlah, discusses the laws of forbidden fruits. The eleventh and final chapter, Bikkurim, discusses the laws of first fruits.
This is the second order of the Mishnah and covers festivals and holidays. There are eleven tractates in Moed, containing a total of 88 Prakim and 681 Mishnayos. The first seven tractates (Shabbat, Eruvin, Pesachim, Shekalim, Yoma, Sukka and Beitza) deal with the laws of Shabbat and holidays. The next three (Rosh Hashanah, Taanit and Megillah) focus on the special days and fast days connected to those holidays. The last tractate in Moed (Hagigah) discusses the Temple service on festivals.
Nashim is perhaps the most important order of the Mishnah. This is because it deals with some of the most fundamental aspects of Jewish law and tradition. The topics covered in Nashim include marriage, divorce, family relations, and mourning. Nashim also contains a large number of mitzvot that are relevant to daily life.
There are six major tractates in Nashim: Yevamot, Ketubot, Nedarim, Nazir, Sotah, and Gittin. In total, there are approximately 71 Prakim and 570 Mishnayot in Nashim.
Nezikin is the fourth section of the Mishnah and covers civil law. It has ten tractates, divided into eleven orders. There are 685 Mishnayos in total. The first seven tractates (Sanhedrin, Makkot, Shavuot, Avodah Zarah, Horayot, Eduyot and Avot) are unique to Nezikin and are not found in any other part of the Mishnah. The eighth tractate, Bava Kamma, is also found in the sixth section of the Mishnah (Tohorot), while the ninth tractate, Bava Metzia, is found in both the sixth and seventh sections (Tohorot and Nashim, respectively). The tenth and final tractate, Bava Batra, is also found in the seventh section (Nashim).
Kodshim( 590 Mishnayos)
This is the fifth section of the Talmud. It contains 11 tractates. Mishnah Elucidated (Masechet Brachot) is the first and shortest tractate, with only seven chapters (Mishnayot). Kodshim deals with the laws governing sacrificial offerings, ritual slaughter, and skin diseases affecting livestock. These laws were relevant in Temple times when animal sacrifices were common. Nowadays, Kodshim is mostly studied for its insights into Jewish law and theology.
Taharot (1015 Mishnayot)
This is the largest and most comprehensive Mishnah tractate and deals with the subject of ritual purity and impurity. The Taharot tractate has 126 Prakim and 1015 Mishnayot. It contains 12 tractates:
1. Keilim-Covers the laws of purity and impurity of utensils.
2. Ohalot-Deals with the laws of impurity of tents and houses, including what causes impurity, how long it lasts, how it is removed, and so on.
3. Nega’im-Impurities caused by leprosy-type skin diseases.
4. Parah-Laws of the red heifer, used for purification from impurity caused by contact with a corpse.
5. Tohorot-Cleansing of various types of impurity.
6. Mikvaot-Laws of the ritual baths used for cleansing purposes.
7. Niddah-Laws of family purity, including menstruation, niddah (the prohibited status of a married woman during and after her menstrual period), the immersion in a mikveh (ritual bath) that is required before she may resume marital relations, and so on.
8. Machshirin-Laws of foods and liquids that become impure if they come into contact with impure substances.
9. Zabim-Laws of impurity caused by various bodily emissions, such as urine, feces, semen, and so on.
10. Tevul Yom-The purification process required for a person who has become impure through contact with a corpse.
11. Yadayim-Laws of ritual hand-washing.
12. Uktzin-Laws concerning fruits and vegetables that grow in the ground.
This is the most comprehensive and authoritative compilation of Jewish oral law available today. If we add the Mishnayos of all the tractates together, we get a grand total of 525 Prakim with a total of 4224 Mishnayot.